The Tigers are basically out of starters, after Tarik Skubal limped off the field when a comebacker nailed him in the leg. Not a great way to start a 15-game stretch between the same two division rivals over the coming weeks. If you’re counting, that’s six starters who have been injured in some capacity, and there’s no real relief in sight.
The trouble this causes became evident very quickly in tonight’s game as Skubal was looking really solid through five innings, giving up four hits but no runs, and five strikeouts with no walks. He was looking good, until the comebacker off the bat of Clement nailed Skubal right in the shin, sending him sprawling to the ground. Jacob Barnes came in for the sixth and in what had been a tightly-paced scoreless game between the clubs, Barnes tilted it in the favor of the Guardians. In the sixth he gave up a leadoff hit to Hedges, an infield single to Straw to put men on the corners, and a Rosario single put the Gaurdians on the board. And then Jose Ramirez switched back to his more dominant side and belted a three-run homer to put them up 4-0.
It didn’t help that Guardians started Civale was having the best start of his season to really add insult to injury. Civale, whose 2022 season was looking rough before this and hadn’t gone far beyond the fifth inning, was suddenly cranking through Tigers’ batters like it was a spring training game against the D squad.
That’s not to say the Tigers didn’t do anything. Torkelson got himself a nice double in the second, Hill got a single in the third then stole second. Defensively they also erased a base runner in a Clement steal attempt in the third. It was just a low-scoring game with great pitching through five innings, and then the wheels fell off. Well, they fell off for the Tigers anyway.
And that’s going to be a real problem for the team. They’ve been dealing with constant injury woes almost right since the beginning of the year, and now the entire starting rotation of April is benched in some fashion, and a lot of the B-team are joining them. It certainly makes that stellar start from Faedo in Tampa Bay all the more important, because a lot of things are going to be resting on the future generation staying (and getting) healthy. It remains to be seen how long Skubal will be out but it didn’t look great.
In the seventh inning, Civale showed his own signs of injury after flipping a ball to first and he was pulled from the game with one out in the top of the inning. As luck would have it this also gave the Tigers an opportunity to score, with a Baez single, then Candelario reaching base safely on the very play that chased Civale from the game. Then a Torkelson sac fly scored Baez to give the Tigers something in the run column.
Things didn’t get better for the Tigers pitchers in the eighth as Foley came on in relief, giving up back-to-back doubles to Straw and Rosario, with Straw scoring the fifth Guardians run of the night. A Miller sac fly then scored Rosario making it 6-1 Guardians.
In the top of the ninth it didn’t take long for the Tigers to go down in order.
Anyway, not great.
Final: Guardians 6, Tigers 1